which


which
/hwich, wich/, pron.
1. what one?: Which of these do you want? Which do you want?
2. whichever: Choose which appeals to you.
3. (used relatively in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses to represent a specified antecedent): The book, which I read last night, was exciting. The socialism which Owen preached was unpalatable to many. The lawyer represented five families, of which the Costello family was the largest.
4. (used relatively in restrictive clauses having that as the antecedent): Damaged goods constituted part of that which was sold at the auction.
5. (used after a preposition to represent a specified antecedent): the horse on which I rode.
6. (used relatively to represent a specified or implied antecedent) the one that; a particular one that: You may choose which you like.
7. (used in parenthetic clauses) the thing or fact that: He hung around for hours and, which was worse, kept me from doing my work.
8. Nonstandard. who or whom: a friend which helped me move; the lawyer which you hired.
adj.
9. what one of (a certain number or group mentioned or implied)?: Which book do you want?
10. whichever; any that: Go which way you please, you'll end up here.
11. being previously mentioned: It stormed all day, during which time the ship broke up.
[bef. 900; ME; OE hwilc, hwelc, equiv. to hwe- (base of hwa WHO) + -lic body, shape, kind (see LIKE1); c. OFris hwelik, D welk, G welch, Goth hwileiks lit., of what form]
Usage. The relative pronoun WHICH refers to inanimate things and to animals: The house, which we had seen only from a distance, impressed us even more as we approached. The horses which pulled the coach were bay geldings. Formerly, WHICH referred to persons, but this use, while still heard (a man which I know), is nonstandard. Contrary to the teachings of some usage guides, WHICH introduces both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. The "rule" that WHICH can be used only with nonrestrictive clauses has no basis in fact. In edited prose three-fourths of the clauses in which WHICH is the relative pronoun are restrictive: A novel which he later wrote quickly became a bestseller. See also that.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Which — Which, pron. [OE. which, whilk, AS. hwilc, hwylc, hwelc, from the root of hw[=a] who + l[=i]c body; hence properly, of what sort or kind; akin to OS. hwilik which, OFries. hwelik, D. welk, G. welch, OHG. wel[=i]h, hwel[=i]h, Icel. hv[=i]l[=i]kr,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Which? — Infobox Magazine title = Which? image size = image caption = frequency = Monthly category = Consumer publisher = Which? firstdate = October 1957 country = flagcountry|United Kingdom language = English website = [http://www.which.co.uk… …   Wikipedia

  • which — I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, of what kind, which, from Old English hwilc; akin to Old High German wilīh of what kind, which, Old English hwā who, gelīk like more at who, like Date: before 12th century 1. being what one or ones out of a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • which — See: GAME AT WHICH TWO CAN PLAY …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • which — See: GAME AT WHICH TWO CAN PLAY …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • which is which — {n. phr.} Which is one person or thing and which is the other; one from another; what the difference is between different ones; what the name of each one is. * /Joe s coat and mine are so nearly alike that I can t tell which is which./ * /Mr.… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • which is which — {n. phr.} Which is one person or thing and which is the other; one from another; what the difference is between different ones; what the name of each one is. * /Joe s coat and mine are so nearly alike that I can t tell which is which./ * /Mr.… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • which was which — See: WHICH is WHICH …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • which was which — See: WHICH is WHICH …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Every Which Way but Loose (film) — Infobox Film | name = Every Which Way But Loose caption = Every Which Way But Loose movie poster director = James Fargo producer = Robert Daley writer = Jeremy Joe Kronsberg starring = Clint Eastwood Sondra Locke Geoffrey Lewis Ruth Gordon John… …   Wikipedia

  • In Which We Serve — Infobox Film name = In Which We Serve caption = deletable image caption imdb id = 0034891 writer = Noel Coward starring = Noel Coward John Mills Bernard Miles Celia Johnson director = David Lean producer = Noel Coward music = Clifton Parker… …   Wikipedia


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